City guides

Iconic hotels in Chicago

Explore Chicago's rich heritage and dynamic spirit through its iconic hotels, each offering a unique blend of history, luxury, and cultural significance.

September 19, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 12
A view of the Chicago skyline, with the Chicago river in the foreground.

Chicago, the Windy City, is a place where history, culture, and modernity intertwine, creating a vibrant tapestry of experiences. Among its many treasures are its iconic hotels, each with its unique charm and story. This article will take you on a journey through some of the top hotels in Chicago, each one a testament to the city's rich heritage and dynamic spirit.

The Drake Hotel

Nestled in the heart of the city, The Drake Hotel stands as a beacon of elegance and tradition. Its timeless allure has drawn in guests since its inception in 1920, offering a taste of Chicago's grand past. The hotel's ornate architecture, reminiscent of a bygone era, complements its luxurious suites that promise a stay of unparalleled comfort. With its prime location, guests can easily access the city's major attractions while also enjoying the serene views of Lake Michigan. The Drake is not just a hotel; it's a testament to Chicago's enduring charm and a symbol of its rich history. 

The Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

Step into a world of opulence and history at the Palmer House. This iconic hotel, with its stunning frescoed ceiling and grandiose lobby, stands as a living piece of art in the heart of Chicago. Established in the 19th century, it has witnessed the city's transformation and has stories embedded in its walls. Beyond its architectural beauty, the hotel offers a blend of modern amenities with a touch of vintage charm. It's more than just a place to rest; it's a journey into the city's vibrant past, offering guests a unique experience that intertwines luxury with history. 

The Langham, Chicago

Where modern luxury meets classic sophistication, The Langham, Chicago stands tall. Housed in a skyscraper designed by the renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, this hotel offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the winding Chicago River. Each room is meticulously designed to provide guests with a blend of comfort and style, ensuring a memorable stay. The hotel's world-class amenities, coupled with its strategic location, make it a top choice for travelers. It's a place where architectural brilliance meets unparalleled hospitality. 

The Peninsula Chicago

Experience the epitome of luxury at The Peninsula Chicago. Renowned for its world-class service, exquisite dining options, and state-of-the-art facilities, this hotel stands as a haven for those seeking the finer things in life. Every corner of the hotel exudes elegance, from its lavishly decorated rooms to its rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of the city. Guests are treated to a plethora of experiences, ensuring that each moment spent at The Peninsula is unforgettable. It's not just a hotel; it's a destination where every detail is meticulously crafted to perfection. 

The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

History comes alive at The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Once serving as a private men's club in the late 19th century, this hotel now opens its doors to all, offering a unique blend of vintage charm and modern amenities. The gothic architecture, combined with contemporary design elements, creates an ambiance that's both nostalgic and refreshing. Located near Millennium Park, guests can immerse themselves in the city's cultural offerings while also enjoying the hotel's top-notch facilities. It's a place where Chicago's past and present converge, offering a unique blend of style, comfort, and history.

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

Perched majestically atop Water Tower Place, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago is a symbol of opulence and grandeur. Offering panoramic views of the sprawling cityscape and the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan, this hotel is a haven for those seeking an unparalleled luxury experience. Each room is a blend of comfort and sophistication, designed to cater to the discerning tastes of its guests. With a legacy of impeccable service, the hotel ensures that every need is met with precision. From its gourmet dining options to its rejuvenating spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago is a testament to the city's reputation as a hub of style, luxury, and sophistication. 

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile 

Standing tall on Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile, the InterContinental is a beacon of luxury and elegance. With a rich history dating back to the 1920s, this hotel seamlessly blends its historic charm with modern amenities. Its stunning architecture, characterized by its ornate detailing and majestic facade, is a sight to behold. Inside, guests are treated to a world of luxury, from its spacious rooms to its gourmet dining options. The impeccable service, combined with its prime location, makes the InterContinental a standout in Chicago's bustling hotel scene, offering guests an experience that's both grand and intimate. 

The Robey

Situated in the historic Wicker Park neighborhood, The Robey captures the essence of old-world charm infused with contemporary design. This boutique hotel, housed in a landmark building, offers a unique blend of history and modernity. Each room is thoughtfully designed, reflecting the artistic and bohemian spirit of the surrounding area. With its rooftop lounge, guests can enjoy sweeping views of the city while sipping on crafted cocktails. The Robey is more than just a hotel; it's a cultural experience, making it the perfect spot for those looking to explore Chicago's artsy and eclectic side. 

The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel 

The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, stands as a tribute to Chicago's rich artistic heritage. Named after the pioneering sculptor Gwen Lux, this hotel embodies a blend of modern luxury and artistic flair. Every corner of the hotel is a testament to the city's vibrant art scene, from its curated art pieces to its avant-garde design elements. Located in the heart of the city, guests are treated to an immersive experience, where luxury meets creativity. Each stay at The Gwen promises inspiration, comfort, and a deep appreciation for the arts. 

21c Museum Hotel Chicago

A paradise for art enthusiasts, the 21c Museum Hotel Chicago is not just a place to stay; it's a contemporary art museum in its own right. This unique hotel boasts rotating exhibitions, unique installations, and thought-provoking art pieces that reflect Chicago's thriving art scene. Beyond its artistic offerings, the hotel provides a luxury experience, with rooms that are both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Located in the heart of the city, guests can explore nearby galleries, theaters, and cultural landmarks, making their stay at 21c Museum Hotel a holistic experience of art, culture, and luxury.

Chicago's iconic hotels are more than just places to stay; they're experiences in themselves. Each one offers a unique glimpse into the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and dynamic spirit. So, the next time you find yourself in the Windy City, why not make your stay as memorable as the city itself? After all, life is too short for ordinary hotels.


*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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